A US school district accused of violating a lesbian’s rights by making her wear women’s clothes is attempting to derail her lawsuit with a photo of her in a bikini.

Ceara Sturgis, a student at Wesson Attendance Center, wore a tuxedo in her yearbook photo but was excluded from the book for not wearing female dress.

She will argue in court that her right to her gender identity was violated but the Copiah County School District in Missisippi is using the photo of her in the feminine swimsuit to undermine her case and claim that she does not always wear masculine clothes.

The photo was mentioned in the latest legal documents filed in the US District Court. The school district is asking for the case to be dismissed.

However, the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi, which is representing Ms Sturgis, pointed out that she was also wearing long shorts in the photo and that the school district was “trying to bully her into dropping the suit”.

Bear Atwood, legal director for the ACLU of Mississippi, told Associated Press: “The point is did the school engage in gender stereotyping when they made her wear a specific outfit designed only for girls.”

Ms Sturgis was told she had to wear a drape in her photo. When she was photographed in a tux, she was excluded from the yearbook.